Rapidly expanding trucking firm building 150,000-sq-ft Windsor warehouse
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The Windsor Star/Brian Cross
A rapidly growing trucking firm started out of a Brampton basement in 2012 is building a 150,000-square-foot warehouse to take advantage of Windsor’s strategic location at the U.S. border.
BSD Linehaul intends to start construction this fall at its 18-acre site on Division Road west of the CN Rail tracks. It plans on building a $23-million cross-dock facility to take advantage of the fact the U.S. is expected to require trucks be equipped with electronic logging devices by the end of this year. These costly (about $5,500 per truck) ELDs keep track of the hours a driver’s been on the road and start flashing and continue flashing until the driver pulls over and goes to bed.
Though not required yet in Canada, Canadian trucks going to the U.S. have to have them and the device starts recording the trip as soon as you start. The new warehouse will enable a Canadian truck without an ELD to stop and transfer its load at in Windsor and have another ELD-equipped truck take it over to the U.S., or a Canadian truck that’s equipped with ELD and nearing its time limit can drop off its load in Windsor so another truck can finish the job.
Baldev Singh Dhot had been a trucker for 12 years in 2012 when he decided to start his own business and purchased a second truck and hired another driver. Today BSD has more than 100 trucks on the road, all ELD-equipped, said operations manager Carl Gatt.
“We opened up a Windsor hub, we opened up a Michigan hub and we have the Brampton hub,” said Gatt, who said the company will move its headquarters to Windsor from Brampton once the warehouse facility is finished. At 150,000 square feet, the warehouse will be about the size of three large grocery stores.
“BSD is investing over $20 million in the Windsor economy. There will be jobs — crane operators, warehouse people, probably at least 20 people by 2018 once it’s complete.”
He also said many truckers employed by BSD are deciding to move to Windsor, spurred by the ELD rules that will make it advantageous for Canadian-based truckers to start their journeys as close to the border as possible.
“We’re bringing in a lot of work,” said Gatt. “Not bad for a small trucking company that started in 2012.”
He said the company already has two or three major players in the industry interested in using the warehouse. The project will include 10,000 square feet of space BSD will rent to other trucking companies that want to create a Windsor hub.
“They can park a couple of trucks, hire some people, hire some more drivers to do their shunting across the border to get their loads delivered on time.”
He said the firm located on Division Road, on the former Hanson Pipe property, well aware of former Mayor Eddie Francis’s vision to transform Windsor airport into an international air cargo hub. The BSD warehouse will be a stone’s throw away from freight arriving or departing by air, and it also has arranged to use the adjacent rail line.
Canada is expected to eventually require ELDs, but that will make the Windsor warehouse an even more lucrative venture, according to Gatt. With manufacturers married to the just-in-time delivery of materials, the warehouse will serve as a place for long-haul truckers arriving early to drop their materials and then have them delivered by a local truck at the correct time.
“That’s the idea of putting up this warehouse and everything else,” Gatt said. “It’s trying to get a leg up on the industry so we can offer more services and be one of the big trucking companies here in the Windsor area.”